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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Fusion of Architecture & Engineering

Compiled by Team IAnD; Information courtesy Foster+Partners
Photography: Nigel Young; courtesy Foster+Partners
  
Canary Wharf new shopping development with timber lattice roof
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With an emphasis on a ‘soft expression’ and ‘warm materials’, Foster + Partners’ designed major new shopping development and roof garden above Canary Wharf Crossrail Station has opened to the public on May 1 instant, ahead of the station opening in 2018...

Stretching more than 300 metres along the north dock, the above-ground scheme  that keeps with the high-environment of Canary Wharf hosts four levels of shops, cafes and restaurants, as well as extensive public gardens, which are densely planted with trees and plants, and interspersed with seating and pavilions – all partially enclosed by a timber lattice roof, which wraps around the building like a protective shell. 

architecture and engineering - timber lattice roof
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Two connecting bridges scenically provide access to the gardens, while the roof opens in the centre to draw in light and rain for natural irrigation, and along the sides and at either end to allow views of the water and surrounding streets.

timber lattice roof
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Spruce beams are sustainably sourced and provide a warm, natural counterpoint to the glass and steel towers of Canary Wharf; where air-filled plastic cushions between the beams and the partial enclosure of the space creates a comfortable environment for people to enjoy all year round, and provides a gentle microclimate for some of the plant species that first entered Britain through the docks.
 
timber lattice roof
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The design of the lattice itself is a fusion of architecture and engineering. Remarkably, despite the smooth curve of the enclosure, there are only four curved timber beams in the whole structure. To seamlessly connect the straight beams, which rotate successively along the diagonals, the design team developed an innovative system of steel nodes, which resolve the twist. The visual simplicity of the smooth curving timber lattice belies the geometric complexity of the structure, which is made up of 1,418 beams and 564 nodes, 364 of which are unique.
 
timber lattice roof
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Foster + Partners’ specialist modelling group has helped develop this innovative system to enable the roof components to be rapidly fabricated and accurately assembled on site. At night the structure is illuminated, creating a welcoming civic gateway to London’s growing commercial district.
 
timber lattice roof
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Says Ben Scott, Partner, Foster + Partners. “The geometric timber lattice is designed to unify the three different functions of the building in a single architectural expression. The advantage of using timber was that it could be economically and efficiently machined to follow the complex geometry that evolved to meet the development parameters, creating a technically advanced enclosure.”

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